Bill Hemmer Seemingly Defends Trump Against Fox News Contributor in Bizarre Exchange
Many loyal Fox News viewers may not be all too thrilled that Marie Harf — the former State Department spokesperson and Senior Advisor for John Kerry — was recently named as a network contributor. Harf has been appearing during interviews with anchor Bill Hemmer, and today’s exchange saw the Fox News stalwart appears to defend the Trump administration with one bizarre twist at the end.
The 4-minute-plus hit Thursday morning was a series of questions by Hemmer aimed at getting Harf to essentially admit that the intelligence community — of which Harf was a longtime member prior to her stint with the State Department — is undermining the confidence of the Donald Trump administration. At times, Hemmer outright defended both Trump’s campaign rhetoric as well as the policies he has proposed during his first month in office.
For instance, Hemmer asserted that the Trump administration’s effort to build a bridge with the Kremlin isn’t necessarily a bad thing, citing Trump’s longstanding commitment to be friendlier with the Russian Federation. He countered Harf at one point by playing a clip of Sebastian Gorka, the Deputy Assistant to President Trump, who last night on Fox News slammed the Obama administration for its failed “Russian reset,” as well as the much-remembered whisper-heard-round-the-world between Obama and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
“They’ve got their argument,” offered Hemmer. “I have mine too,” replied Harf.
“I come back to my original question,” Hemmer said to Harf Thursday. “They’re giving this an effort here to see what they can do together and there’s thinking that if you can pull Russia away from China even just a little bit or pull Russia away from its relationship with Iran even just a little bit, perhaps you’ve got a lane in which you can get things done.”
“I think the Trump administration needs to be very clear-eyed and realistic,” replied Harf, “about whether you can pull Russia away from Assad… but we shouldn’t be naive. And I am concerned that President Trump seems really unwilling or unable to criticize Russia over anything. It’s actually quite bizarre to me.”
Hemmer pointedly noted however — in Trump’s defense — that it has only been three-and-a-half weeks. “Do you believe the intelligence community is undermining this administration and this president?”
Harf, of course, denied any such suggestion, saying the intelligence community, “prides themsel[f] for being apolitical.”
And then, things took a turn towards the bizarre.
Hemmer knowingly concluded by asking Harf, “Do you think that you were served well in your time on behalf on the intelligence community or do you think you were burned a time or two?” (Note: As fans of the show Burn Notice may know, the phraseology of ‘being burned’ suggests that an intelligence community member or source is discredited or was proven to be unreliable.)
Harf denied any such allegation, saying, “We served both administrations very well,” she said of her time working under both Bush and Obama administrations.
“Just to nail it down: you were never burned?” asked Hemmer pointedly. Harf clearly wasn’t sure what Hemmer seemed to be talking about.
“I-I-I don’t think so? No, I don’t think so,” she said.
Hemmer gave a long intentional look into the camera, waiting for Harf to continue on with her answer. He waited as if he knew exactly the specific answer Harf should have given, but was refusing to admit live on air. After an uncomfortably long beat…
“…OK. We’ll jog the memory next time,” said Hemmer.
“Oh no! What am I missing?” Harf said nervously.
Hemmer cooly wrapped up the segment. “Not a darn thing.”
Watch the full interview — as well as the final strange exchange — above via Fox News.
[image via screengrab]
J.D. Durkin (@jivedurkey) is an editorial producer and columnist at Mediaite.
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